ANOTHER QUICK LOOK AT A FEW DISTRICTS.
AND A SUMMARY OF MY, PROBABLY FUTILE, RECOMMENDATIONS.
A select Consideration of Some Candidates
In Phase 2 of Jersey’s General Election.
Election Day – when you WON’T VOTE FOR ROB DUHAMEL (please?)
You know – the more I’ve reflected on what I wrote yesterday, the more I’m genuinely tempted to see if we could run a goose or a donkey in an election?
What do you think?
Perhaps you’d prefer some other fauna?
Personally – I could happily envisage seeing a large, hungry polar bear let loose in the chamber – whilst I watched from the safety of the public gallery – like, obviously, doh!
Though in the interests of animal welfare certain members would have to be removed as they could prove to be toxic to the bear once eaten.
Two-ton walrus? No problem. But certain occupants of the States chamber? Hi-risk of indigestion and poisoning, I would have thought.
Or, if you aren’t keen on animals – some other form or representation?
There are so many computer nerds out there now, how about an assembly modelled on Second Life?
Politics could become a virtuality – in which we controlled avatars from the comfort of our Macs?
Reality wouldn’t matter – you and your avatars could do just what the hell you liked – in a fantasy make-believe world – ‘peopled’ by vacuous and unreal ‘representatives’ – who, when all’s said and done, would be of no consequence – because they were dealing with money which was just pixelated virtual money, of no real substance – and it wouldn’t matter that they would be powerless in the face of the reality of the world – and the avatars and those who controlled them could feel omnipotent and invulnerable – and – err –
Look – it’s often claimed Jersey is ahead of its time.
See? We’ve already invented Third Life – in which we’ve taken the concepts of virtuality – and made them real.
I’m certain Victoria Sponge could spin this dangerous experiment into appearing as some positive PR: – “traditional Jersey entrepreneurial skills” perhaps?
Let’s face it – before the real world perceives the dissolution of our ‘Matrix’ – there’ll be nothing but smoking economic wreckage out there anyway. So why not give it a try?
But – grimly – let us return our consideration to what passes for “reality” here in Jersey Third Life.
The Deputy elections.
Ah – yes.
May I recommend that you DON’T VOTE FOR ROB DUHAMEL?
Just in case I hadn’t mentioned that already.
At the end of this post – I’ll run through a quick recap of who I would vote for in these elections – at least, those of them I can be bothered to think about.
We’ve already had a strop from a candidate who got annoyed that I said I didn’t know anything about him – and said so, in a neutral kind of way. So just to make it clear – I won’t necessarily be covering every candidate and every parish.
I know, I know – politicians are supposed to talk crap about subjects they know nothing about – it’s our job – but it’s too hard a standard to maintain constantly.
But – of those I have a view on – here goes:
Proposed Juliette Gallichan as Deputy – and had his nomination paper signed by Geoffrey Grime. Nuff said – almost.
Basically – another finance industry man – cut of the very same cloth as those other “masters of the universe” who have helmed the world’s financial system catastrophicaly into the iceberg of reality.
Vote for Mr. Johnson? I’ll take the electric chair, thanks.
Oh dear. Look, David – I know you’re well-intentioned and a decent enough guy – but your chances in this election are about equivalent to those of Dick Cheney joining Greenpeace.
Like Chris in St. Helier No. 1 – you’re just wasting your time – and you know it.
An intelligent, thoughtful man – who would deliver some of what Jersey badly needs – a little counter-weight to the irrational go-for-greed, go-for-growth blinkered, utopian fantasists who have been St. Mary Deputies since the days of Derek Maltwood.
I’d vote for Daniel.
But, perhaps what the voters of St. Mary want is yet more environmental destruction of their tiny parish – even greater tides of concrete to swell over the island?
If so – vote as you customarily would.
Difficult one, this.
Each candidate has their merits.
I would not claim that I share either man’s political outlook – but I have to say, each, in their own way, has shown a good deal of independent thought.
He will be well-known to the people of St. John – and many will remember him from his previous stint as Deputy.
Never afraid to speak his mind, ask awkward questions – and retain some independence.
Again – a man who one would regard as an establishment figure – but not a piece of passive lobby-fodder.
Indeed – was subjected to a great deal of stroppy hostility from Phil Ozouf and his fellow bratarians – when they realised he wasn’t going to passively toe the Jersey Establishment Party line.
For example – Patrick was resolute in his opposition to taxing food.
So – each man has their qualities – I could vote for either.
Hell – I don’t know.
Look – I do try to be honest in these assessments – but there are only so many hours in the day.
Important work has to take priority over these rather masochistic trawlings through the futile tragedies of Jersey elections.
A known quantity – of an exotic substance you either like or hate.
But is his own man – very independently minded. If a little too over-enthusiastic with the dowsing rods for my taste.
A conservative and an establishment man – but, before we condemn him for that, I have to say in fairness to him that after a dodgy first year or so – when he was letting himself get owned by the Ozoufian – ‘greed is good’ – bratarians – he has actually re-discovered his Christian conscience.
Intelligent – but we can never expect anything radical from him – such as ‘change’.
Seems to offer possibilities – has a good CV – and could, indeed, turn out to be a decent States member. Can’t really say more than that – as I just don’t know enough about her.
From what little I’ve been able to learn of him – he does at least appear to grasp such concepts as Sovereign Wealth Funds – and the fact that our traditional glorious leadership – who we’re supposed to believe have been marvellously wise in their foresight – have, in fact, left this community broke, knackered – and in a state or perilous destitution.
Just a pity Philip has come along 40 years too late. That isn’t a criticism of him – but, frankly, only a miracle could save us now.
I’m not sure what to make of Jez. A while ago – under various avatars – was constantly attacking me. Basically, from what I could work out – because I had come to the conclusion that Health & Social Services senior management are a collection of ethically bankrupt, lying clowns.
And Jez does work in H & SS management – though, I stress, there are many good people there. I know – as I regulalry speak to some of them – albeit in peril of their bosses finding out.
But – maybe he has now gained a broader view – and is more realistic about the glaringly obvious failings of some of his senior colleagues?
Just don’t know.
St. Saviour No. 2.
Unfortunately, in this district you won’t be able to NOT VOTE FOR ROB DUHAMEL because he is in St. Saviour No. 1. But you can still think about it – on your way to the polls.
But – what of the candidates in this district?
Kevin Lewis is a dead cert.
Has shown himself to be independently minded – does what he believes to be right – as opposed to what the oligarchy tells him to do.
Which – of itself – is an automatic colossal advantage over 90% of candidates.
Resolutely voted against taxing your food and domestic energy costs.
So – who else, then for the remaining seat?
Glenn & Cliff – hmm….how very mountainous.
Both nice guys, I’m sure – but in over-subscribed district like this – one has to make hard choices.
[Post-script: since writing what follows, I’ve been assured that Ms. Vallois is in no way associated with Phil Ozouf – and, instead has the support of good people, such as Alan Breckon. I would like to apologise unreservedly for writing such a dreadful slur as to associate her with the bratarians.]
Could be potentially a good States member?
But could equally turn out to be an Ozoufian bratarian?
If that last guess is doing her an injustice, I’m sorry.
But the problem is – her candidacy is just altogether too mysterious.
We simply don’t know enough about her.
As remarked previously – the states is dangerously politically extreme and unbalanced at present – indeed, has been for decades.
It’s just too unbalanced towards the Right-wing – which will inevitably – perhaps quite soon – lead to serious political instability.
A few more working-class people – who could be relied upon to keep the oligarchy on its toes – is what Jersey needs.
So, Kevin & Christine would get my votes in that district.
But, if resident in the parish of St. Saviour – I’d far prefer to be voting in No. 1 District, where I’d be able to NOT VOTE FOR ROB DUHAMEL.
2 seats – 4 candidates.
Who would I vote for?
Consider Celia Scott-Warren – the sister-in-law of Big Frank’s wife, Fiona.
Celia – who stabbed me in the back at H & SS – without so much as a text-message telling me she was resigning.
I’d vote for her – without hesitation – IF IT MEANT KEEPING ROB DUHAMEL OUT.
So, that leaves Tony Nightingale and Jeremy Macon.
Tony – sorry – you might be a good guy – but I just don’t see you bringing anything remarkably new to the mix.
(And, forgive me for this, but your web photo makes you look disturbingly like Terry Le Main.)
Of the 4 candidates – Jeremy Macon is the only one I feel any great enthusiasm for – he’s young, intelligent – and his mum it pretty good at hand-bagging Philip Ozouf and his spin-doctor, Glenn Rankine when they tried to bully and intimidate her during the Senatorial hustings.
But, seriously – some people say of Jeremy – ‘he’s too young’.
But just consider what the average age of States members is? Again – it’s a very unstable, misbalance – weighted far too heavily towards the older generations for political comfort.
And, let’s face it – it isn’t as though the “Old Guard” approach – which has dominated for decades has done us much good. Jersey is financially knackered – and has been led to this state of affairs by older States members most of whom – to add insult to injury – proceed to vote against the interests of ordinary pensioners just as soon as they get elected.
Witness Ben Fox and Jacky Huet – just by way of example. Campaigning as the ‘pensioners’ friends’ – whilst voting to tax the food and heating bills of the elderly.
We, as a community, need – and I don’t use the word lightly – need – a few of our younger people in the States.
Let’s get the vote out for Jeremy.
Basically VOTE FOR ANYONE BUT ROB DUHAMEL.
The most ineffectual, dithering, time-wasting do-nothing, get-nowhere clown in the modern history of the States.
Claims to be some kind of ‘environmentalist’ – which would be great – if he ever actually delivered on any useful environmental policies.
A complete waste of time and space.
But, in case you’re wondering why I ask DON’T VOTE FOR ROB DUHAMEL (please?) is that this is the man who – in the company of 6 other States members – said he was going to vote FOR exempting food and domestic energy from GST – and then promptly voted against both exemptions.
This resulted in a tied vote – 25 for – 25 against – so, procedurally, the proposition was lost.
Had he kept his word – the outcome would have been 26 for – 24 against – and the propositions would have been carried.
ROB DUHAMEL – THE MAN RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FACT YOU ARE NOW PAYING TAX ON YOUR FOOD BILLS AND HEATING COSTS.
Please – DON’T VOTE FOR HIM (did I say, please?)
Well – I’ve summited after that long and dangerous north-east face climb.
It’s cold and dark.
I’m out of water and I’m eating snow.
The head torch batteries have long-since expired.
But from a faint slither of moonlight, I can now see the descent-route – but it’s all I can do to save my energy to stagger back down and cross the glacier.
Only a couple of features remain – and little time or energy to stand and contemplate them long.
As a very clever reader remarked – there are two vacancies in the parish – one of them being John Le Fondre – a man who could redefine the word vacant.
A multi-millionaire – but essentially thick – spoilt bratarian – who inherited his wealth from his father.
Like Ozouf – is one of those States members who – because they had the good fortune to inherit vast fortunes – suddenly start thinking their wealth makes them Jersey’s answer to Donald Trump.
But – I get the impression that that’s just the kind of candidate that St. Lawrence often favours – so I expect we will have the “pleasure” of his “charisma” for another term – which is about how long it will take people to realise that the accountants have brought us to ruin.
Which brings me on to Eddie Noel.
An accountant – like – that’s just what the States needs, right?
Another bloody accountant?
Look – we’re on the rocks and shipping water – and it’s this milieu of “Business Men – Therefore Geniuses” characters – who have brought us to this end.
Oh well – if you want to wreak the final destruction upon Jersey – go for it – a few more money-men should deal the terminal blow.
Highly intelligent, independently minded, not afraid to stand up to the powers that be.
Genuinely committed to protecting the environment – as opposed to the fake, plastic, make-believe-at-election-time environmentalism as peddled by 95% of candidates.
The states desperately needs its average IQ raised significantly – especially with an enquiring and independent mind.
In fact – if I were voting in St. Lawrence – apart from being disappointed that I couldn’t NOT VOTE FOR ROB DUHAMEL – I would cast
one vote – and one vote only.
And that would be for Nick Palmer.
I’ve avoided death in the crevasses – and can see in the distance the window-light of the mountain hut.
The sun is just beginning to scythe across the very tops – the Matterhorn on my left – the Breithorn on my right – from which I’ve just descended – with an eccentric Dutchman – from whom I’ve learnt the dangerous and painful lesson – never – ever – let someone else do the navigating when you’re in the mountains.
Especially a man from a country as flat as a billiard table.
OK – wise-guy – it’s easy to be smart after the event.
It’s getting light now – and sanctuary beckons.
St. Brelade No. 2.
Exhaustion, dehydration, sunburn, hypothermia and hunger – after 36 hours of continuous effort.
So – there isn’t much left I can do – except prise near-frozen, woody feet out of plastic mountaineering boots, try and get some feelings back into my hands – drink pints of water – and crash into the sleeping bag – and briefly think, before slumping into unconsciousness – ‘why the bloody hell do I do this?’
What to say.
Oh boy – has that man got the ‘Blarney’.
Name a populist cause – and there he will be – in a flash.
Strives to give the impression to as many people as possible – that he is resolutely on their side – whilst really being on nobody’s side but his own.
A confidence man.
Remember his attempts to get into bed with Harcourt? All a bit embarrassing, no?
I know I can be too diplomatic sometimes – perhaps a bit too subtle – but look at it this way – if I consider the present 53 States members – and had to single out the one – the only – I consider to be the most dubious – the one I wouldn’t trust as far as I could throw him – it would be Sean Power. (Apart from ROB DUHAMEL, obviously.)
Yes – I can say this in all honesty – I’d rather see people like Philip Ozouf & Frank Walker in the States than Sean Power.
Consider this, should you not realise just how cynically opportunistic that man is – remember Ted Vibert – the man who shook-up the States – and tried in a big way to mount a serious challenge to the Jersey oligarchy.
It suited Power’s purposes then – to be associated with Ted – who was popular with many people.
Power duped Ted Vibert into thinking he was an ally of his – and then relayed every single thing Ted Vibert said and told him – straight back to Frank walker.
Sean Power – the man who writes letters to Irish newspapers – in support of a States Chief Officer – who remains working – despite being under serious police investigation for many years of violent child abuse.
I wonder how many of the people Power has canvassed in his district understand that this is a man who has rabidly voted against exempting food and home energy cost from GST?
In fact – so dreadful is this little creep – I’m almost tempted – very nearly, actually – to say I’d rather see him slung out than ROB DUHAMEL (but not quite, though it is very close.)
Look at it this way – if you said to me – ‘you have a choice – you can have Phil Ozouf, Frank Walker, Allan MacLean etc in the States – OR Sean Power – I’d say sling out Power – without hesitation.
That’s how dreadful he is.
So – who would I vote for in St. Brelade No. 2?
No competition from where I see it.
I should point out that her and her husband, Julian Bernstein are friends of mine – but there is no escaping the fact that Martha has just the kind of energy and drive needed to shake-up the States.
For example – I think she’d frighten a lot of very under-worked and over-paid civil servants at the Education department if she were an Assistant Minister.
And God – do they need frightening.
What needs to be said about this principled and intelligent young man?
Articulate, well-educated – politically honest – and genuinely on the side of the poor and the vulnerable – and understands the grave seriousness of the economic challenges we face.
Jersey – you need a few people like Montfort in the States.
Right – I’m now trying to sleep-off the exhaustion and hypothermia – and can do no more.
I know – I haven’t examined every candidate nor every parish – but, for good or ill – those are my thoughts, insights and recommendations.
Make of it what you will – as you vote today – and remember – people get the government they deserve.
Especially those people who don’t turn out to vote.
Finally – to avoid any ambiguity – DON’T VOTE FOR ROB DUHAMEL (please? Look, I’m begging you.)
See you for the autopsy – maybe on Thursday.